The director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control was the keynote speaker at a Des Moines conference on preventing injuries to kids. Ileana Arias says preventing injuries to kids is an important focus of her organization,as she says injuries are the leading cause of deaths among Americans up to the age of 44.
Arias says they’re particularly concerned about injuries to children is important because of the long-term problems that affect the quality of life of the kids. Arias says auto accidents are the biggest cause of injuries to kids, but falls are right behind.
Arias says there are seven million emergency room visits each year associated with falls in kids up to the age of four. Fires are another cause of injury to kids that Arias says are a “significant concern,” and something they’re trying to prevent. Arias says they’re working on preventing injuries by fire. She says they’ve implemented a program in 16 states that has been “very effective” in bringing down the number of injuries to kids from fires.
Arias says they’re trying to get funds to expand the program to all 50 states. Arias says the program involves teaching about the proper use of smoke alarms and fire safety. She says they also teach families to create and practice an escape plan.
Arias says people often panic and haven’t thought ahead about how to get out of their homes, and that’s when they get trapped and are injured or killed in a fire. Arias spoke at the injury prevention conference hosted by Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines.